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[personal profile] fred_mouse
Today, I'm working on sorting out files that were transferred from the work computer (to be returned ASAP) to my home computer, and I've come across the file in which I used to make my decluttering notes, before tidying them up to post here. I'm guessing that the first part is from December, while the last section had October 30th on it! So, what was I finding to declutter?


It is apparently … weeks since I last posted here! As well as the following list of decluttered items, I've also spent some time grouping like with like items in some of the cluttered areas, which really helps (me) with working out What Next.
  • several rulers – added to the 'spare' stationery box, which is going to be rehomed at the end of the year.
  • some biscuit and tea tins. Sadly, rearranging the shelf to fill the holes means that the whole thing still looks untidy.
  • old blanket – this has been earmarked to go for quite some time, but I took it with me to the cat haven, and they were happy to have it.
  • dead shoe polish – going to have to replace some, but at least the dead ones are gone!
  • dead pens – a couple of dozen, which I could not get to work. Still have too many, but have put the ones without lids into active use, and the rest in a drawer.
  • clothes – seriously, how are my kids still finding clothes that they have outgrown!
  • dance shoes – this isn't really an 'achieved' but more a 'started' – I've dug out the box of unloved shoes, and I'm going to start photographing them to put them on gumtree just as soon as I get a good day with a spare hour.
It has been most of a year that I've been focusing on improving things, and I can report that the front hall and lounge (immediately off from and kind of the same room as the front hall; this is a 1980s Australian open plan house) have been mostly tidy for a month. There are intermittent temporary clutter items, but nothing staying anywhere long enough to get dusty, just there to remind me that they need dealing with!


30 October -- I handed on some buttons, some yarn and some iron on embroidery transfers [3 different people]. No luck with rehoming costumes - forgot to offer them!
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
One of the things I'm trying to deal with in February in order to reduce clutter is the sewing pile. This is a multi-box monster that has eaten the floor space in the room that is variously the sewing room, the music room, and my study (depending on which wall one is facing). What I'm finding is that there are a number of things that are fiddly, and for a long time I've been ignoring them. 

This week, I've been wandering in there, and just picking something up, working out 'what next'. Thus I have repaired a pair of work trousers*, a child's jacket, and a child's skirt. The latter two items have been added to the declutter pile - I'm hoping that one of the friends-with-smalls I catch up this week will be enthused about taking them home (and the slowly growing mound of outgrown clothes). 

Plus, middle child came home from dance to report that there is another child in the dance school in need of a specific and unusual item**, and could we please bring in any outgrown such items, which I found two of. So not only may I manage to rehome those, but I might get actual cash for them as well!

*which had been there so long I'd forgotten I owned them

fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
The last week or so I've mostly not been sorting things out at home, because I've been dealing with office detritus, as all of our group moved office, and much paperwork was sorted through (including from people who have been gone a decade. Shared offices.). So much paper -- I think I half filled a secure shredding bin. 

Today though, I took the following to the op-shop
  • nearly a dozen bags (shoulder bags, cooler bags, other) which were surplus -- several had been conference 'loot'. 
  • a small bag of assorted small toys (specifically given to the op shop that makes up bags of such)
  • a bag of 10 or so hardcover books weeded out (about half of what I originally identified -- they sat in the 'outbox' for two weeks, and I discovered that some were favourites of partner, eldest had plans to read one, and that one was an anthology with stories by authors whose work I actively collect). 
I've also identified a few other bits and pieces -- pretty pencils to go to a primary teacher friend to use as prizes; 2 DVDs that my kids are never going to watch; a duplicate of something (I remember finding it, just not what it is!)

I have the goal for February of getting everything out of the front hall that doesn't live there. Which may mean going specifically to visit friends, so as to hand over particular items (and work out what to do with one where the friend and I have lost touch, and they have moved multiple times -- I've been able to track them to a previous location). And of concentrating the clutter in such ways that most of the house is accessible, including doors/windows in which ever room I decide is the dumping ground. 

fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
I'm noticing a small trend, which is that January is the time of year where I actually have the time, energy, and motivation to declutter. As such, I've spent quite a lot of time on it today, although I'm not convinced that I've made much of a dent. As I mentioned briefly in the last post, kids have been identifying things that they don't want. I've sorted through ~1/2 of it, throwing a significant amount out, boxing up a significant amount to take to the op-shop, and putting a small amount aside for reasons not yet articulated, including but not limited to 'is this the last one of these, or should I find the rest so that they all go together'. Monday I should make it to the op shop, and the teetering mound of 'to be donated' should be about halved. 

I've also been in the study, and sorted a few things. I've flagged a set of items (unused baking equipment, carry bags, craft materials) that the family might be persuaded to let go of, and I've also chucked a set of craft magazines that were gifted to me, but aren't my kind of thing (I did keep one - it has an actually useful quilting pattern in it). 

And now I'm sitting in the games room, looking at the big bookshelf, and wondering about the sanity of taking all the books off one shelf, and only putting back those that make me want to sit and read them *now*. 
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
6th January is our traditional date for packing up the seasonal decorations. This year, I sorted through the boxes of items that hadn't been put out, and made the kids comment on the value of keeping them.
  • The stash of pine cones went - this hasn't been used except when I've been in charge of putting out decorations. That was half a (medium sized) box worth of space!
  • almost all of the 'artwork' that came home from school/kindy/daycare/etc went in the bin. I kept a few that had photos on, but there was a lot of plastic tat
  • several items in poor condition with no sentimental value* went.
Now, all of the decorations fit into two boxes! Mostly what went on display were the items I've been buying each year at the Oxfam shop (pretty, and they usually have items that can be identified as Solstice, rather than specifically for religious ceremonies). Many that didn't go on display came from my childhood, and while tatty, you can't get decorations like that any more. My guess is that when the kids leave home, we'll do a split of the decorations, and then I'll have to decide whether I want to keep those for the nostalgia, or whether they are too tatty, and throw them out.  

[there has also been quite a lot of movement of Stuff! from other parts of the house. The 16 yo and the 12 yo have both managed to come up with a washing basket full of unloved toys and bits; the 16 yo has also managed about the same volume of outgrown clothes. The front hall now has a teetering mound of Stuff! to go elsewhere, although I've had some luck with passing it on to visiting friends]

* there are a number of quite tatty ones I can't bring myself to throw out -- these are the type that were thread wrapped around a ball, and they went fuzzy quite easily. I also can't bring myself to throw out the tinsel, even though I hate it and it mostly doesn't get put out. That is for No Good Reason at All. Maybe next year. 
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
I've been stockpiling 'do we need this items', and put them out on the lounge table for the rest of the family to glance over, and claim anything back that isn't actually ready to leave the house -- this worked really well, with much less stress for number of items gone, and thus many more items than we usually get through. Two of the selected items were claimed, both very small toys with sentimental value. 

Thus, a dozen books, a soft toy, near a dozen toy cars, and some assorted other toys, all in the pile to go.

And because middlest got in serious trouble about the state of their bedroom and wardrobe (with threats of 'no, you can't have your laptop back until we can see your floor), we also have several outgrown dance costumes ready to go to new homes! Now to find a family with the right age group kids who might appreciate dress ups. 
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
 I can't believe it has been most of a month since I've done one of these posts! I've been taking reasonable volumes of Stuff! to the op-shop, and rehoming some with friends as well. 

Today's haul to the op-shop (it should have been yesterday's, but I got so caught up in the conversation with youngest that I missed the correct freeway entry, and was nearly in our street when I remembered) included several tablecloths we are never going to use again, an assortment of salad bowls that have been replaced by 4 matching ones that stack (these were identified as 'to go' months ago, but got put in the wrong place), a bag of kids board games, a 'build your own' wooden aeroplane kit, several cookbooks, single bed sheets that didn't have matching sheets/quilt covers, and more of youngest's clothes. 

In previous weeks, I've found a home for:  the replaced food processor; one of my irons and my friend's unused iron; two dozen books, including the previously identified Bobbsey Twins books, craft how-tos, more cookbooks, and outdated science texts; toys (*3); and two carry bags. 

And I've taken to my 'collection' of dead sheets, shredding 3 (and half a quilt cover) into 1" strips, and starting to crochet them up into rag rugs. I've had a semi-request for a dog toy made in the same way, with the understanding that the two dogs in question will destroy the toy, so I'll shred at least one more of the sheets. And while I was in the middle of doing that, a visiting friend lamented that they had misplaced the dead white sheet that they were going to use for craft, and dug one out and sent it home with her. 

In terms of storage - this sums to two sections of the box shelves being emptied and things moved from temporary homes into permanent ones, all the cookbooks fitting on their new shelf rather than being scattered across four different locations, and a shelf of the temporary bookshelf cleared for all of three days until I started locating other books in even more temporary locations (such as on the floor beside the bed) and moved them in there. 

Oh, and eldest brought a box in from the garage, and I was able to deal with everything in it, so I'm making progress on the 'get the garage sorted so I can put the car in there in the summer' project!


Sep. 18th, 2016 07:50 pm
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
 One of the tasks that I've given myself to finish by the end of the calendar year is to rehome the two 'temporary' bookshelves which have been in the games room for multiple years. Which requires relocating all the books. *sigh*. This weeks haul - 4 cookbooks that no-one wants to keep!

Also, I've been throwing out paper, several scoops that came with coffee (no idea where these came from as the brand is one I never bought), and kids have been identifying outgrown clothes (again). The iron I have a replacement for has been rehomed. And the follow up from the front hall re-arrange: the spare shelf from there went in the walk in robe, replacing one that was too large (and now there is space for my other work bag); then the large one went in the spare room (and has had several craft projects stashed on it, freeing up floor), and the temporary one it has replaced went to the op-shop.

Oh, and I've come to an arrangement with a friend, who I see on Thursday mornings - I will take whatever they need to rehome, and drop it at the op-shop on a Friday, because I've negotiated with youngest that we will stop there on the way home from school. Which means that I now have extra motivation to have things to rehome. 

... In other words, this slow and steady sometimes speeds up, even though it doesn't quite feel like it on a day to day basis!
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
 This is a belated post, covering last weekend, and mid-week.

It occurred to me that one of the areas I don't clear out regularly enough is the freezer (both the little one inside, and the free standing one in the garage). So, last weekend, I did a pass through the small freezer, and identified a handful of things that need using up in the little one. Ends of loaves (which the kids *claim* they eat) went in the chooks. Other than that, there were 3 (now 2) containers of cooking bananas, and 3 (now 2) containers of guava. I've made one batch of guava paste (like jam, but only a little water and sugar, so it doesn't gel, but it does spread nicely), and one batch of fried banana. Next set of tasks on this are to make another batch of guava paste, which should get through the rest, make more fried banana, and then start moving things that need using up to the inside freezer. 
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
As part of my 'what else can I clear out' jag I'm on (goal: get it all done by November), it occurred to me that I've been putting shopping receipts ad similar in shoe boxes, and putting them in the roof space for over a decade. In which time, I have *never* pulled them out. Today, I pulled them all out, and various small boxes that won't be used for their original items even if we ever move again (eg. the ones the kettle, the skillet set, and a tea trio came in). 

About half the receipts have gone in the compost, layered with soil, and several buckets of water poured over them. The rest will go in through the week, as eldest adds a bit of soil each morning. And about two thirds of the boxes are in the recycling bin (flattened). The rest might go in for this pick up cycle, but we'll see the night before we put the bins out. The rest will go next week. 

I've also identified a handful of children's books (Bobbsey Twins, Trixie Belden) that I don't think any of my kids read, and I don't love enough to keep. Still to run those past the rest of the family though!

On a roll!

Aug. 27th, 2016 09:03 pm
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
Today's focus area was the front hall/foyer. For Quite Some Time, we have had an overflowing brick and board shoe shelf, with an overflow shelf beside it, and two boxes and a large basket underneath it. This have been solved by a) buying three new boards in order to restructure the shelf and b) going through the large basket of hats and the box of swimming gear, and deciding to rehome large amounts of hats, house socks, and assorted items that have been stashed on the top shelf. Also, the moving of the swimming gear to the linen cupboard (we no longer run out the door to swimming twice a week with mere minutes for grabbing everything). The large basket, in poor nick, will become a chook nesting basket. 6+ hats, outgrown swim gear, and various items which have not been returned to owner because owner has vanished have been put in two plastic bags to go to the op shop on the way home on Tuesday. There is now more space in the front hall!

Also sorted
- a large bowl of assorted small things. ~ 1/4 each to bin, rehome (op shop), put away by kids, and 'deal with it when I have some oomph'. 
- papers - either filed or binned
- craft projects - two items (poor condition; not readily reusable) binned rather than repurposed. 

All in all, a successful day, but I'm knackered!
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
email - cleared 700+ emails relating to organisational volunteer work out of two inboxes! Including dealing with the fact that many of these were duplicates, because I read on one email account and answer on another. Some of these date back to 2014. Deleted duplicates, filed by year, decided anything more than six months old that I hadn't read didn't need it.

food - cleaned & threw out a tomato sauce bottle and a bbq sauce bottle each with a token amount left - these were squeezy bottles of a type we don't usually buy, from a birthday gathering in December.

paperwork - more bits of random stuff had appeared on the counter. got rid of much.
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
 Despite the fact that we have sequentially gone through their clothes in recent months (season by season), the kids have managed to find *more* outgrown clothes to rehome. At least we seem to be running out of winter clothes in this category.

And in the last week, I have continued the purge of paper. My 'really can't deal with that' pile is about 1.5cm thick, and I have filled our little bin (say, 10L) about five times. In addition, I found a box of old convention books, did the legal deposit thing (because there didn't appear to be copies in the state archive, even though I thought I had done this already), made sure the relevant community archive had copies, and ditched the rest. One box-o-stuff completely gone! And I have been completely ruthless with old newsletters and community magazines. If none of the family feature, and I can't find something else that makes me smile in nostalgia as I flick through, out it goes (the one thing that really made me nostalgic was a Student Guild Elections book which featured two people who later became Guild President, and one person how is a current federal politician. They were *so young*)
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
I've been steadily decluttering paper from both the house and work over the last two months (some of this is previously reported), and I'm kind of starting to feel like I'm getting somewhere! Over the last two weeks I've shredded a pile of bills/financial paperwork too old to need retaining, and thrown out what feels like several reams of assorted other paper (one of my next tasks is to get my scrap paper pile down to not much more than a ream - if I get short, there are always abandoned print outs on the photocopier at work)

Friday at work I cleared out many many items from the 'spare' desk (recently vacated by honours student, and there have been several students through who haven't completely cleared out things when they leave, so, say 5 years of detritus), and binned what wasn't useable. Still quite a bit to go, but it was a cathartic ten minutes! (also cleared out items from the 'tea trolley'. Still more to go there as well). 

As well as that, I'm still on my quest to rid the house of unusable* coat hangers - another 5 found, and outgrown clothing - a dress, two pairs of trousers, at least one more pair of pjs. Plus, a severe pruning of the costume box netted two plastic bags (shopping bags) of outgrown and unloved options - said costume box now has space! 

All of these items have been rehomed already, which is great - I still have a pile of other items that need to be rehomed. Including an iron (found tonight) that should have gone years ago, but ended up in the garage instead! 

* either kids sized, or really thin metal ones that were fine for kid weight clothing and/or summer shirts, but nothing else
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
 Two posts in one weekend! I might almost feel like I'm making progress.

The main thing I cleared out was (most of) the reading list on the old ipad that I'm aiming to load up with all the ebooks I currently have, and then lend to a friend who doesn't currently have working internet. I also took three email addresses off the same device, and all the email! 

Also found three card games, and youngest found a pair of pj trousers, but they don't feel quite so monumental. 
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
 Today's find of Things I Don't Need was a lever arch file of old uni assignments, and a few sheets of notes from 2003 and 2004! After some deliberation, I kept the unused stationery, and binned the rest. There were a couple I was tempted to keep, as the notes are potentially relevant to things I do in my day job, and then realised that what I would do would be google and hope, rather than waiting until I got home to go looking for something stashed away. 

So, a bit over half a ream!

Eldest has also been going through papers, at my instigation, with the 'please keep them in a single location, not in every drawer and on every shelf', so there has been some throwing out there as well. 

This is part of the ongoing project 'reclaim the spare room', where I've been steadily dealing with paper clutter for the last month or so, at the rate of 30s per day. I've managed to get about a square metre back, so feeling pretty chuffed (and there are lots of other things in there that need dealing with as well). 
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
I'm still approximately managing rehoming one thing per day, although it is still more like 7 things on a weekend - this last weekend gone I took some small person items to a friend with a toddler and an infant; today I emptied a small box of rehomeables into an op-shop collection bin. 

In the last week, I've found two skirts (one outgrown childrens, one unloved adults), multiple too small coat hangers, jars (many). Tonight, I'm going through printed journal articles left behind when a co-worker went to more interesting pastures, determining whether full text pdfs are readily available through the work library, and then gleefully ditching them. I started with about half a ream of paper, I'm a bit over half way through, and I've only had to keep three!

Other items in my list of rehomed since Mar 7 - old mobile phone, 7 craft books, 2 dozen plastic container lids, more coathangers, 8 pieces of unloved clothing, 4 scarves/light shawls, cocktail glass, more paper, child's table and 2 chairs, 6 old phone books, and some more outgrown kids clothing. 

As a result, the music room floor is clear, the shelf I've been planning to use for display is clear (although there is a small pile of paper to still sort through, and some other items I've no idea how to rehome), and I have an 'empty' bookshelf ready to move to the study, just as soon as the study has space. Also, the front hall has been clear of Stuff! for about a month, and we are back to using it for forward planning.

And on the topic of knitting - I'm slowly working through the donated yarn, although a new donation means I'm above where I started at the beginning of the year. But I've been loaned a knitting machine, which I plan to use with scrag ends of yarn to make blankets for the Cat Haven, so I might actually get back one of my plastic tubs by the end of the year!
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
I've been a bit lax about recording everything, and possibly I've missed a few days as well, but there have been quite a few things gone in the last month. The most dramatic one was rehoming the cat, and all the associated Bits. Fortunately, I've seen an almost instant improvement in allergy symptoms, so while I'm sad about it, on balance it is positive. 

11 Feb - bag fabric (say, 15 pieces)
14 Feb - assorted small items
19 Feb - papers
20 Feb - 2 school work books (youngest); school papers (youngest); [several items from free box to friends]; 1 box twist crayons; 1 glue stick; mathomat
21 Feb - assorted crafting scraps that aren't useable; dead scrunchie; bits of rubbish out of car
27 Feb - 2008 diary; broken guinea pig water bottle; 1 applique pattern; 2 craft magazines; 15 assorted crafting books
28 Feb - yoga dvd
Mar 1 - 7 coat hangers
March 3 - cat and accoutrements (litter tray, wet food, dry food, spare cat litter, collar, cone of shame)
March 6 - tupperware chopper

days: 67; items: 357 + 15 (11th) + 8 (14-20th) + 10 (21st) + 20 (27th) + 16 (to 6th) = 426.

Trying to get the motivation up to target an area with focus again - the music room desperately needs it.
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[personal profile] anotherheather
This was the guide I used when determining what to keep in our filing cabinet (US Centric): How Long Should I Keep Old Documents? - Lifehacker
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
9 Feb
- box of bubble wrap
- 3 poster tubes
- 2 bags fabric (say, 20 pieces)
- bits of Stuff! saved for wrapping (say, 4 items)

10 Feb
- cake carrying plate/cover
- Art - 2 pairs dead shoes
- eldest - books (still to be sorted through; many will be claimed by other kids; listing but not counting)

days: 42; items 326 (previous) + 28 (9th) + 3 (10th) = 357

[clothes and desk still not touched. But the back hall shelves are starting to have clear spots, so I can move crafting things from the spare room!!!! Sadly, now I want to do All! the knitting, which I'm not allowed until my shoulder heals.]


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uncluttering one day and one thing at a time

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